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Terrible Boiler Odor

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Candy
Candy Member Posts: 4
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and I really could use some help. I have this occasional foul odor that will permeates my house for a few days at a time. And I think I've finally pinpointed it to my boiler. I have a new propane NTI Trinity FTV150 boiler and all new hot water baseboards that were installed in my house summer of 2019. I have had no problems with the system until this year when I noticed this foul odor. I have been on a hunt for its origin for months and this week while walking by the boiler, I noticed it seems to be coming from it. It doesn't smell like a propane leak (rotten eggs) or the smell at the start of the season with dust heating up. It's more of a swamp water with a metallic undertone. I've cleaned the boiler filters and the baseboards but still every so often this smell fills my house for a few days then is gone. I've called the company that installed it and they are booked so its about a month before they can come out to check it. Has anyone experienced a similar odor from their boiler? Any ideas what the cause might be? Thanks in advance.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,544
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    My first thought would be... what got in there and died? Can you get some of the cosmetic covers off and check?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Candy
  • Candy
    Candy Member Posts: 4
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    I was able to take the outer cover off but nothing there. My boiler is in my basement but I can smell the odor upstairs. Odd isn't it?
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,711
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    any floor drains, bathroom lavs, shower or bathtub drains that don't get used?
    and their traps have dried out and are passing, gas?
    a pan under the clothes washing machine? same question?
    air conditioner up in the attic?
    could have the same type dry drain scenario,
    if yes anywhere, dump some water in there, then seal the top of the trap with a small amount of vegetable oil.
    known to beat dead horses
    CandyMikeAmannDerheatmeister
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 889
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    I would suggest, having someone come out and check for propane leaks. I spent a year chasing a leak that we ALL thought had to be sewer. I found it!!! It turns out when the original guy did the conversion from Natural gas to LP, the gasket between the blower and the heat exchanger got pinched and allowed leakage. So in the winter when the demand on the boiler was much greater and the windows and doors remained closed it got bad. Its a weird smell to pin point. I had another one that was the pipe coming into the house wasn't sleeved and it had decayed and rusted to the point of leaking this also was very difficult to find. Its worth exploring the LP side. Unless of course something crawled in the basement and died...
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
    Candy
  • Candy
    Candy Member Posts: 4
    edited February 2022
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    Tom_133 said:

    I would suggest, having someone come out and check for propane leaks. I spent a year chasing a leak that we ALL thought had to be sewer. I found it!!! It turns out when the original guy did the conversion from Natural gas to LP, the gasket between the blower and the heat exchanger got pinched and allowed leakage. So in the winter when the demand on the boiler was much greater and the windows and doors remained closed it got bad. Its a weird smell to pin point. I had another one that was the pipe coming into the house wasn't sleeved and it had decayed and rusted to the point of leaking this also was very difficult to find. Its worth exploring the LP side. Unless of course something crawled in the basement and died...

    LOL...nothing I have found crawled in the basement & died but anything is possible at this point. The plumbers called me today and they will be out next week to look at it. They don't think its a leak because they installed an alarm and it hasn't gone off but I suppose if its a small enough leak it might not detect it. I'll definitely mention it to them. Thanks for the info.
  • Candy
    Candy Member Posts: 4
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    neilc said:

    any floor drains, bathroom lavs, shower or bathtub drains that don't get used?
    and their traps have dried out and are passing, gas?
    a pan under the clothes washing machine? same question?
    air conditioner up in the attic?
    could have the same type dry drain scenario,
    if yes anywhere, dump some water in there, then seal the top of the trap with a small amount of vegetable oil.

    I checked all of these and they all get used regularly. Those were my first thoughts since those are the usual culprits for terrible odors. Never knew about the vegetable oil. Thanks for the tip.
  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    You should call your LP gas supplier pronto and have them come "sniff" around your home for any leaks. In my locale they will come out and do this free of charge. They will be prompt too because they don't want any lawsuits if something bad happens. I do not EVER hesitate to call the gas company if I smell gas around my home or at someone else's, and have done that numerous times. LP gas is heavier than air, so it will settle in a low place and crouch there waiting to be ignited by something. It might take out the neighbors' houses as well as yours! I have seen where houses and people disappeared in a flash.
  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    P.S. And if it is NOT gas and turns out to be sewer--That is just as deadly. Methane gas from a sewer back up took out a school building here a few years ago. Fortunately, not when school was in session. Ironically the name of the school was Cook elementary. It got cooked alright!
  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    And one last thing to check in case the "sniffer" doesn't find anything--the fridge. We had one years ago that had a shallow pan under it that caught the water from defrosting. That thing was ugly and smelled. AND, one time we smelled something awful in our house and it drove us nuts for days. Finally my wife located the problem. A mouse had crawled into a pile of plastic grocery bags store under the kitchen sink and suffocated. We almost did as well!
  • Peter_26
    Peter_26 Member Posts: 129
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    Have you checked where the condensate is draining to?